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FCS Rankings: Power Poll for Week 7

The big two conferences are getting more company

FCS Power Poll RankingsWelcome, Northern Arizona. How you doing, Nicholls and McNeese? Glad to see you, Grambling State.

 

It turns out the Athlon FCS Power Poll isn’t just CAA Football and the Missouri Valley - that there really is a bunch of other surging teams out there.

 

The Big Sky and Southland now have four teams each in the poll, and eight conferences are checking in with representatives. Yup, it’s a whole new world in October.

 

Here is the Athlon FCS Power Poll heading into Week 7 of the regular season:

 

1. James Madison

(5-0, 2-0 CAA)

Last Week’s Ranking: 1

Last Week’s Result: Idle

Of Note: The bye week was so relaxing that coach Mike Houston wore a purple Hawaiian shirt to the fan and press luncheon. Could another visit by ESPN's "College GameDay" be a distraction before the Villanova showdown?

Next Opponent: No. 13 Villanova (Oct. 14)

 

2. North Dakota State

(5-0, 2-0 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 2

Last Week’s Result: 52-0 win over Indiana State

Of Note: Hey, Carson Wentz, how about cousin Connor Wentz catching two touchdowns in the Bison’s second shutout win in three weeks?

Next Opponent: at No. 5 Youngstown State (Oct. 14)

 

3. South Dakota

(5-0, 2-0 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 4

Last Week’s Result: 31-28 win over then-No. 3 Youngstown State

Of Note: Shamar Jackson set the USD single-game record with 229 receiving yards, catching one touchdown among his 11 receptions. The Coyotes are 5-0 for the first time since 2005.

Next Opponent: Indiana State (Oct. 14)

 

4. Jacksonville State

(4-1, 2-0 Ohio Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 5

Last Week’s Result: 34-14 win over Austin Peay

Of Note: The Gamecocks’ 26 straight OVC wins tie the conference mark of the 1990-92 Eastern Kentucky teams. Conveniently, the Colonels are head coach John Grass’ team’s next opponent.

Next Opponent: Eastern Kentucky (Oct. 14)

 

5. Youngstown State

(3-2, 1-1 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 3

Last Week’s Result: 31-28 loss to then-No. 4 South Dakota

Of Note: The Penguins aren’t used to giving up 360 passing yards and 486 total yards.

Next Opponent: No. 2 North Dakota State (Oct. 14)

 

6. South Dakota State

(4-1, 1-1 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 8

Last Week’s Result: 49-14 win over Southern Illinois

Of Note: It’s just not fair that Dallas Goedert and Jake Wieneke can be limited to 56 combined receiving yards yet running back Brady Mengarelli goes for 220 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.

Next Opponent: Northern Iowa (Oct. 14)

 

7. Eastern Washington

(4-2, 3-0 Big Sky)

Last Week’s Ranking: 6

Last Week’s Result: 41-38 win over UC Davis

Of Note: Gage Gubrud rallied EWU with three of his six touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.

Next Opponent: Montana State (Oct. 14)

 

8. Central Arkansas

(4-1, 2-0 Southland)

Last Week’s Ranking: 7

Last Week’s Result: 27-7 win over Houston Baptist

Of Note: With four turnovers, the Bears' defense made the difference in a sluggish effort following their rousing win over Sam Houston State.

Next Opponent: Stephen F. Austin (Oct. 14)

 

9. Sam Houston State

(4-1, 2-1 Southland)

Last Week’s Ranking: 9

Last Week’s Result: 27-16 win over Stephen F. Austin

Of Note: The Bearkats have a series-record seven straight wins against rival SFA. Davion Davis hauled in 13 passes for 151 yards and one touchdown.

Next Opponent: Northwestern State (Oct. 14)

 

10. Wofford

(5-0, 3-0 Southern)

Last Week’s Ranking: 10

Last Week’s Result: 35-28 OT win over No. 19 Western Carolina

Of Note: Andre Stoddard rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns, including the overtime winner. The Terriers have won three SoCon games by a combined nine points.

Next Opponent: at The Citadel (Oct. 14)

 

11. Western Illinois

(4-1, 1-1 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 12

Last Week’s Result: 38-29 win over then-No. 22 Northern Iowa

Of Note: The Leathernecks scored two touchdowns in the final six seconds to make it two straight wins at the UNI-Dome.

Next Opponent: Missouri State (Oct. 14)

 

12. Richmond

(3-2, 1-1 CAA)

Last Week’s Ranking: 13

Last Week’s Result: 41-38 (2OT) win over Albany

Of Note: Griffin Trau’s 34-yard field goal was the game-winner in the second overtime.

Next Opponent: at Towson (Oct. 14)

 

13. Villanova

(4-2, 2-1 CAA)

Last Week’s Ranking: 14

Last Week’s Result: 31-0 win over Maine

Of Note: ‘Nova gained only 219 yards in its second straight home shutout, but forced six turnovers, including Jaquan Amos’ 99-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Up next: the defending CAA and FCS national champ.

Next Opponent: at No. 1 James Madison (Oct. 14)

 

14. Elon

(5-1, 3-0 CAA)

Last Week’s Ranking: 16

Last Week’s Result: 25-17 win over William & Mary

Of Note: Malcolm Summers rushed for two touchdowns and Elon gained its first five-game winning streak since 2009.

Next Opponent: at Rhode Island (Oct. 21)

 

15. New Hampshire

(4-1, 2-0 CAA)

Last Week’s Ranking: 15

Last Week’s Result: Idle

Of Note: The Wildcats have lost the game coming off their bye in each of the past two seasons.

Next Opponent: at Stony Brook (Oct. 14)

 

16. North Carolina A&T

(6-0, 3-0 MEAC)

Last Week’s Ranking: 17

Last Week’s Result: 44-3 win over Delaware State

Of Note: The Aggies, who are the first FCS team to reach 6-0, have allowed a combined 30 points in five non-FBS games.

Next Opponent: at Florida A&M (Oct. 21)

 

17. Weber State

(4-1, 2-0 Big Sky)

Last Week’s Ranking: 18

Last Week’s Result: Idle

Of Note: Although no Wildcat has hit the 20-tackle mark this season, 13 players are in double figures.

Next Opponent: Southern Utah (Oct. 14)

 

18. Illinois State

(4-1, 2-0 Missouri Valley)

Last Week’s Ranking: 11

Last Week’s Result: 37-16 loss to Northern Arizona

Of Note: After the Redbirds allowed only 455 yards and one touchdown through the air in their first four games, Northern Arizona torched them for 403 yards and four scores.

Next Opponent: at Southern Illinois (Oct. 14)

 

19. Western Carolina

(4-2, 2-1 Southern)

Last Week’s Ranking: 19

Last Week’s Result: 35-28 overtime loss to No. 10 Wofford

Of Note: The Catamounts made an excellent account of themselves in the loss to SoCon preseason favorite Wofford. Terryon Robinson became the Catamounts’ all-time leader in career receptions, now at 199.

Next Opponent: ETSU (Oct. 14)

 

20. Samford

(4-2, 2-1 Southern)

Last Week’s Ranking: 20

Last Week’s Result: 26-7 win over VMI

Of Note: The Bulldogs will enjoy a bye week before they get their shot at first-place Wofford.

Next Opponent: at No. 10 Wofford (Oct. 21)

 

21. Northern Arizona

(3-2, 2-0 Big Sky)

Last Week’s Ranking: Unranked

Last Week’s Result: 37-16 win over then-No. 11 Illinois State

Of Note: Neither defending Big Sky champ, Eastern Washington and North Dakota, is on the schedule, so the surging Lumberjacks figure to be in title contention behind quarterback Case Cookus.

Next Opponent: at Portland State (Oct. 14)

 

22. Montana

(4-2, 2-1 Big Sky)

Last Week’s Ranking: 25

Last Week’s Result: 39-31 win over Idaho State

Of Note: Redshirt freshman quarterback Gresch Jensen has been excellent since replacing an injured Reese Phillips. He accounted for 383 yards and five touchdowns in the win at rival Idaho State.

Next Opponent: North Dakota (Oct. 14)

 

23. Nicholls

(4-2, 3-1 Southland)

Last Week’s Ranking: Unranked

Last Week’s Result: 14-10 win over Northwestern State

Of Note: After not starting due to an injury, quarterback Chase Fourcade came off the bench to lift the Colonels past Northwestern State. Their defense allowed only 202 total yards.

Next Opponent: at Abilene Christian (Oct. 14)

 

24. McNeese

(5-1, 3-1 Southland)

Last Week’s Ranking: Unranked

Last Week’s Result: 13-7 win over Abilene Christian

Of Note: The Cowboys are a game-ending Nicholls field goal away from being unbeaten.

Next Opponent: Incarnate Word (Oct. 21)

 

25. Grambling State

(5-1, 3-0 SWAC)

Last Week’s Ranking: Unranked

Last Week’s Result: 34-21 win over Prairie View A&M

Of Note: The defending SWAC champion Tigers don’t appear to be as strong as last season, but they’ve won 20 straight regular-season conference games.

Next Opponent: Alcorn State (Oct. 21)

 

Power Poll Possibility: North Carolina Central (4-1, 3-0 MEAC)

 

— Written by Craig Haley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Haley has covered the FCS level since 1999 and is the national writer for www.fcs.football. He appears frequently on radio shows and podcasts to discuss everything FCS. Follow him on Twitter @CraigHaley.

 

(Photo courtesy Northern Arizona University University Athletics)

Event Date: 
Sunday, October 8, 2017 - 00:34

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